On May 16th, 2023, Canada will celebrate National Seal Products Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the important role that sealing plays in the culture, economy, and environment of Canadian coastal communities. While the seal hunt has long been a controversial issue, Canada still recognizes that sealing is a sustainable and humane way of utilizing a valuable natural resource. This article explores the significance of National Seal Products Day for every single Canadian.
National Seal Products Day
National Seal Products Day was established in Canada in 2017 as a way of recognizing the important role that sealing plays in Canadian culture and the economy.
Organized by the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, this event features traditional Inuit throat singing, as well as a booth showcasing seal products including seal fur accessories, seal oil omega-3 for humans and for pets as well as healthy seal meat treats for pets. Canadian Seal Products will be present at the reception, and we will exhibit seal products from Canadian Seal Products vendors and Proudly Indigenous Crafts & Designs artists.
The reception also features a catered menu that includes seal meat. The catering is provided by Nathan, the owner of the restaurant Pollennation in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Cheryl Fennell from Snowfly and Aija Komangpik, representatives from Proudly Indigenous Crafts & Designs, will also be present at the event to showcase different seal products and educate about the importance of sealing for Indigenous communities. Their presence at the event highlights the important role that sealing plays in Indigenous culture and the need for Indigenous voices to be heard in the ongoing discussion about the seal hunt.
The significance of National Seal Products Day goes beyond just celebrating the cultural and economic importance of sealing. It is also an opportunity to promote sustainable and humane sealing practices and to educate the public about the role that sealing can play in conservation and environmental stewardship. For thousands of years, human beings have relied on ocean resources, including seals and other marine animals, as a source of nourishment. As such, we keep preserving our food traditions and continue to utilize these valuable marine resources.
- Date: May 16th
- Time 5:30-7:30 pm. (By invitation only)
- Location: The West Block
History of the Seal Hunt in Canada
Sealing has been a part of Canadian culture for thousands of years, with Indigenous and coastal communities relying on seals for food, clothing, and other essential goods. The commercial seal hunt also emerged as an important industry, with Newfoundland and Labrador becoming major hubs for seal processing and export. In 2007, Newfoundland and Labrador estimated that the sealing industry was worth approximately $55 million. At that time, sealers stated that their income from sealing could represent 25% to 35% of their total income.
In recent decades, the seal hunt has faced increasing opposition from animal welfare groups, who argue that it is cruel and unnecessary. However, seal population must be regulated. Seals consume large quantities of fish. The total Canadian seal population eats roughly 30 million tons of fish each year. That’s 53x more fish than the entire Canadian Atlantic fishing fleet catches, which has a devasting impact on our fishery LEARN MORE . This is a concern that affects all Canadians, as the health of our oceans and fisheries are important for our economy and food security. With responsible management practices and sustainable hunting, we can ensure that both the seal population and the fishery can thrive in a healthy way.
National Seal Products Day is an important day for Canada to celebrate the cultural and economic significance of sealing. It is also a day to educate the public about the sustainable and humane practices that are used in the seal hunt and to highlight the important role that sealing can play in conservation and environmental stewardship. While the debate about the seal hunt is likely to continue, events like National Seal Products Day provide an opportunity for all Canadians to come together to celebrate a longstanding tradition and to promote a more informed and fact-based discussion about Canadian sealing industry.